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July 10, 2009

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Vio

This post is really interesting. But the facts and your tally of pros and cons is an example of not just mega churches--but church in general. Smaller churches may have less resources. I mean I'm from a city where there's a church (perhaps closed down, burned down, open occasionally, etc) on every other corner and also have a small congregation. So does that mean that medium size churches would make for automatic solution?

i just feel like we have to individually decide what's best because no church is going to be perfect, you know. I'm speaking as a rededicated Christian that it may be harder to find new converts because they have a lesser likelihood of hanging around Christian or those who empathize with the idea of church. It seems like a logical connection that those who are nominally but inactively Christian would be more likely to rededicate themselves and find a church home. I feel like this is a ramble but I hope you get what I mean. This is connecting to that 6/100 point. I'm no statistician but that number doesn't strike me as odd.

On the other hand, one could argue that shows that the Church needs to not let people just come to it but outreach in extreme areas that completely is devoid of Christ. For example, you can find hustlers on the street that might call themselves Christian. To get them to church wouldn't be converting necessarily, but to go to a mosque or a completely different spiritual/religious territory you would increase that 6 out of 100. Maybe thats what the Church needs to do, making strong arguments why someone should completely transform their belief system to Christianity

Billy Michael Honor

Vio,

I appreciate your thoughtful comments. I agree with your assessment that much of what can be said about Megachurches can also be said about mid, small and large size churches as well. However, I maintain that mega-churches pose a different set of challenges for Christian culture and thats what I sought to make light of in the post.

Also, your point about inactive Christian's who rededicate themselves to the church is probably accurate. Unfortunately, mamy Mega-church leaders are not prone to admit that their outreach is primarily successful among the inactive church crowd.

Personally, I have multiple issues with evangelism in the form of outreach. So i'll concede your points about outreach to extreme areas and say I'd prefer we just make strong arguments.

Michael Young

You are correct in your observations about the polarization of the thought concerning the mega church. Having myself attended and been served as small group leader for mega church I also agree with your obersvations about the dangers of the megachurch.

One my personal critiques of the mega church is the a vast majority mega church have become personality cults. Pick a mega church in Atlanta and ask someone on the street if they are aware of the name of the particular church. Chances are they will not fimiliar with the name of the church. However mention the name of the Senior Pastor and they will likely be fimiliar him/her. Further, I have spoken personally with staff member of several of the largest church in U.S. and I have been told that the church would exist between 18 to 24 months beyond the tenture of the Senior Pastor. The celebrity Pastor rarely has the in mind the best interest of his/her congregation. Much of the cons you list in your article can be traced by the fact the many mega church are personality driven. It is much to by personality than by character. The former requires some chrisma while the later requires servant leadership.

I believe in my generation that the mega church concept is going to become a norm of the church worldwide. Whether or not the mega churches will have a postive Christian impact on culture will be determined by its leaders. If the predominant trend towards being personality driven continues the influence of mega church will decline while if (or when) servant leadership become the prefered sytle of leadership, the mega church see an expodential increase in its influence.

The Critical Cleric

Michael,

I agree with everything you've written. Having reading your comments I wish I had included the the statistics that reveal the #1 reason people join mega-churches is because of the senior leader or pastor. I think this fact validates your personality driven argument.

I would only suggest that the mega-church has already become the norm for church practice worldwide. Even though the vast majority of churches are not mega-churches but congregations of 150 or so people, I standard by which churches assess effectiviness is the mega-church standard. So I think, at least as a model, the mega-church is already the worldwide standard.

differences between men and women

It was highly contagious.
--It came on very suddenly and killed very quickly. It was said that
an infected person could be "dancing at nine o'clock and dead by
eleven."
--It was, as the name suggets, characterized by a high fever and sweating.
--It wasn't the plague, and it wasn't smallpox.

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